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AssessmentsAug 8, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
This Landsat photograph from 1972 shows the Pakistani-Iranian border.
Pakistan Struggles to Make Good on a Golden Opportunity in Balochistan
In a remote and arid corner of southwestern Pakistan, Islamabad has found itself embroiled in a difficult battle: a multibillion-dollar dispute with a global mining company over one of the world's richest untapped deposits of copper and gold. In July, the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ordered Pakistan to pay $5.9 billion in damages to the Tethyan Copper Co., a joint venture between Canada's Barrick Gold Corp. and Chile's Antofagasta PLC. The ruling stems from a 2012 case that Tethyan lodged at the ICSID against Islamabad for failing to issue a license to mine gold and copper at the Reko Diq site. The case draws attention to the rich resources of Balochistan, Pakistan's rugged southwestern frontier in which Reko Diq is located, as well as the tug of war between domestic Pakistani law and international arbitration in resolving investor disputes. But above all, the Reko Diq
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SnapshotsMay 2, 2018 | 22:07 GMT
A map shows sub-Saharan Africa
Congo: Problems for Miner of Copper and Cobalt Only Multiply
With the rapid rise in the prices of certain minerals and metals, commodity-rich nations in Africa are looking to capture a greater share of this bonanza. To take advantage of the growing demand for key metals such as cobalt and vanadium, developing countries can either open up mining operations to foreign direct investment or try to collect more revenue from their raw materials. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is taking the second approach, which is adding to the problems facing Glencore PLC, one of the country's larger mining operators.
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AssessmentsApr 19, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) shakes hands with Vladimir Bogdanov, CEO of Surgutneftegas oil and gas company, in Moscow on April 30, 2016.
New U.S. Sanctions on Russia Make It Personal
Moscow has had time to adjust to and anticipate economic restrictions in the four years since the European Union and United States first imposed sanctions. Though the latest sanctions' announcement drove the ruble down to its lowest point since December 2016 and brought the Russia Trading System index down 13 percent, both recovered within a few days. The Russian economy is stabilizing after years of recession, and the country's National Wealth Fund stood at $65.9 billion as of April 1. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, in fact, has said that the Kremlin may actually wind up with a budget surplus this year, depending on energy revenues. The targets of the sanctions will be the ones bearing the brunt of the new restrictions, but that detail doesn't mean the Kremlin won't respond.
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AssessmentsFeb 19, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A map of South America shows the long-disputed borders between Chile and Peru.
Sparks Fly Between Chile and Peru
Relations between Peru and Chile have historically been some of the most troubled in South America, but the past few years have brought a new energy to the relationship. On Feb. 6, Chilean Minister of Energy Andres Rebolledo confirmed that the two countries will begin construction this year on a 30-mile electricity transmission line connecting them. The line could be completed by the end of 2019. The announcement is a sign that both countries have decided to leave their historic animosity behind and that deeper integration between them will likely continue in the coming year.
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AssessmentsOct 27, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
Argentina and Chile share the world's third-longest border, and until recently, relations were not cordial.
Argentina and Chile Take the High Road
Argentina and Chile are on the road to greater trade integration. Their relationship has historically been difficult, with more downs than ups, but ties between them have been gradually warming since Argentine President Mauricio Macri came to power in December 2015. Now, the two countries are building a tunnel through a dangerous mountain pass to boost bilateral commerce and to connect Chilean ports on the Pacific Ocean with Brazilian ports on the Atlantic.
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Quarterly ForecastsJun 26, 2017 | 13:54 GMT
The United States will maintain its security alliances abroad, but it will also generate enough uncertainty to drive its partners toward unilateral action in managing their own neighborhoods.
2017 Third-Quarter Forecast
Federal investigations and budget battles with Congress will make for another distracting quarter for U.S. President Donald Trump. But these disruptions won't mitigate the White House's rhetoric, or broader speculation that the United States is retreating from the global stage. And though mixed messages from the U.S. administration won’t result in Washington abandoning its traditional allies, they will spur more unilateral action by U.S. partners in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
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AssessmentsApr 28, 2017 | 09:37 GMT
Untangling the Web of Russia's Cyber Operations
Russia's interest in foreign elections didn't end with the U.S. presidential vote. Two days after the first round in the French presidential election April 23, a cybersecurity firm based in Japan reported that Russian hackers had targeted Emmanuel Macron's campaign in the runup to the vote. Macron, one of two candidates who advanced to the runoff, slated for May 7, had accused the Kremlin of discrediting his campaign, and his staff complained of constant, sophisticated phishing attempts throughout the race. Phishing, though not the most advanced technique, has proved highly effective for conducting criminal activity and espionage; the Kremlin allegedly used the same tactic to interfere in the U.S. presidential election. Recent developments have shed light on the apparent ties between Russia's state security apparatus and the world's most sophisticated cybercriminals.
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AssessmentsNov 18, 2016 | 09:32 GMT
Until Nigeria can address the structural and institutional problems in its oil industry, production will remain stagnant.
Nigeria's Oil Industry Churns On
Throughout the year, Nigeria's oil sector has been caught in a cycle of sporadic attacks and fitful negotiations to resolve local grievances and restore peace -- and oil production -- in the Niger Delta. The Niger Delta Avengers militant group announced the week of Nov. 14 that they had attacked three pipelines leading to the Bonny export facility in Bayelsa state. Two weeks earlier, an offshoot of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) struck the Trans Forcados pipeline, which had recently been repaired after a bombing in February knocked roughly 200,000 barrels per day in production offline. These and other attacks have been devastating for the country's oil production, which has rarely surpassed 2 million bpd over the past few years, having peaked at 2.65 million bpd in 2005. But militancy is just one of many problems for Nigeria's oil industry. Until the country can address
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AssessmentsMay 26, 2015 | 09:15 GMT
A high-speed train travels on the railway to Beijing in Nanning, southern China's Guangxi province on June 13, 2014.
Chinese Rail: Fostering Regional Change With Global Implications
Through its funding of rail projects worldwide, China hopes to stimulate global markets. Beijing's investment in Latin America is part of this plan. By improving existing land and sea trade routes as well as establishing new ones, Beijing hopes to secure and reinforce the country's influence over the coming decades.
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